Using your creativity to dye flowers into colours not found in nature is cheaper, more fun and quicker than buying them. Dye fresh flowers to match a particular colour theme for a wedding, for a party or to decorate your home. Making beautiful dyed flowers requires basic knowledge of colour theory in order to select a colour scheme to fit the occasion.
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The word "hue" refers to the color's basic name, like red, yellow or blue. A colour name like "purple passion" is not an actual hue. "Value" means the color's lightness or darkness. Add a tint (white), tone (grey) or shade (black) to change a color's value. "Chroma" means a color's brightness or intensity.
All colours originate from the primary colours of red, blue and yellow. Each of the secondary colours---orange, green and violet---is a combination of two primary colours. Tertiary colours are a mixture of a primary and secondary colour to create red-orange, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, blue-violet and red-violet. A colour wheel shows all the colours and their relationship to each other (see Resources).
A monochromatic colour scheme features one pure colour mixed with tints, tones and shades to create variations of it. This is the simplest and cheapest colour scheme to use to dye flowers, as it only requires one colour. The value and chroma of the dye creates an eye-pleasing arrangement.
An analogous colour scheme combines a pure or key colour, a primary or secondary, and two colours that border it on the colour wheel and enhance it. An example might be to use yellow as the key, with green and yellow-orange. An analogous colour scheme is either a warm or a cool theme.
Opposites attract, even when you're dyeing flowers. A complementary scheme joins two colours, primary, secondary or tertiary, located opposite each other on the colour wheel. Blue and yellow is one basic combination. The use of two complementary colours increases their intensity. Many wedding arrangements use a complementary scheme.
Split complementary means the union of a key colour and two colours on either side of its complement. A dye example in this scheme is orange as the key, and blue-violet and blue-green for the split complementary colours. Split complementary and triad are the most expensive schemes, as they both require three colours of dye.
Dye each flower in either one of the three primary colours, or three secondary or tertiary colours. A primary colour scheme example would be red, blue and yellow. A triad arrangement makes a strong visual statement, ideal for large celebrations.
Food colouring is the cheapest dye for flowers; use it by adding drops into the water the flowers are in. The flower absorbs the colour in one day. Absorbit is a commercial dye that works like food colouring, but comes in 14 colours. Another dye for fresh and silk flowers is Dipit, which comes in 12 colours. With this product, flowers are simply dipped in the dye. Just for Flowers is available in 15 colours from spray cans. See the Resource section for a link to Design Master for more dye information.
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